|An aspect of fiscal policy|
A property tax or millage rate is an ad valorem tax on the value of a property, usually levied on real estate. The tax is levied by the governing authority of the jurisdiction in which the property is located. This can be a national government, a federated state, a county or geographical region or a municipality. Multiple jurisdictions may tax the same property.
It may be imposed annually or at the time of a real estate transaction, such as in real estate transfer tax. This tax can be contrasted to a rent tax, which is based on rental income or imputed rent, and a land value tax, which is a levy on the value of land, excluding the value of buildings and other improvements.
Under a property-tax system, the government requires or performs an appraisal of the monetary value of each property, and tax is assessed in proportion to that value.
The four broad types of property taxes are land, improvements to land (immovable man-made objects, such as buildings), personal property (movable man-made objects) and intangible property. Real property (also called real estate or realty) is the combination of land and improvements.
Forms of property tax vary across jurisdictions. Real property is often taxed based on its class. Classification is the grouping of properties based on similar use. Properties in different classes are taxed at different rates. Examples of property classes are residential, commercial, industrial and vacant real property. In Israel, for example, property tax rates are double for vacant apartments versus occupied apartments. France has a tax on vacant properties, which successfully reduced the vacancy rate.
A special assessment tax is sometimes confused with property tax. These are two distinct forms of taxation: one (ad valorem tax) relies upon the fair market value of the property. The other (special assessment) relies upon a special enhancement called a "benefit" for its justification.
The property tax rate is typically given as a percentage. It may be expressed as a per mil (amount of tax per thousand currency units of property value), which is also known as a millage rate or mill (one-thousandth of a currency unit). To calculate the property tax, the authority multiplies the assessed value by the mill rate and then divides by 1,000. For example, a property with an assessed value of $50,000 located in a municipality with a mill rate of 20 mills would have a property tax bill of $1,000 per year.
Property classes, tax rates, assessment rules and valuations vary by jurisdiction.
Australian property is taxed at both the state and council (local municipal) level. Taxes are payable by property owners – there is no property tax charged to renters.
A state tax commonly called "stamp duty" is assessed when property is purchased or transferred. It is typically around 5% of the purchase price, payable by the purchaser. Other transfer charges may also apply, including special fees for investors from overseas.
"Land tax" - also a state tax - is assessed every year on a property's value. Most Australians do not pay land tax, as most states provide a land tax exemption for the primary home or residence. Depending on the state, surcharge tax rates can apply to foreign owners.
"Council rates" is a municipal tax levied by local government. This is assessed each year on a property's value. Council rates are around $1300 per annum for an average Australian household.
Brazil is a Federation Republic, and its federated entities (internal States and Municipalities), as well as the Federal government, levy property taxes. They are all declared in the Federal Constitution.
These are the current property taxes:
- Tax on Rural Territorial Property – federal: levied upon real state property on rural areas;
- Tax on Urban Territorial Property – municipal: levied upon real state property on urban areas;
- Tax on Motorized Vehicles Property – state: levied upon the property of cars, trucks, motorcycles, and the likes;
- Tax on Big Fortunes – federal: it is declared on the Federal Constitution, but there is still no regulation defining its incidence.
Many provinces levy property tax on real estate based upon land use and value. This is the major source of revenue for most municipal governments. While property tax levels vary across municipalities, a common property assessment or valuation criteria is laid out in provincial legislation. The trend is to use a market value standard for valuation purposes with varying revaluation cycles. Multiple provinces established an annual reassessment cycle where market activity warrants, while others have longer periods between valuation periods. There are two types of property tax: annual property tax and land transfer tax.
Annual Property Taxes
The annual property tax is usually a percentage of the taxable assessed value of the property. The taxable assessed value is commonly determined by the assessment service provider of the municipality. The annual property tax rate for any province contains at least two elements: the municipal rate and the education rate. The combination of municipal and education tax portions along with any base taxes or other special taxes determines the full amount of the tax.
In Ontario, property tax was first introduced in 1849 with the Municipal Act (or Baldwin Act) as the act constituted a municipal structure with cities, towns, and villages along with the creation of property tax that municipalities must collect that would also support schools. The tax is calculated by multiplying the current year property-value assessed by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) with the total tax rate. A study from 2019 showed that Toronto, the capital of Ontario, has the lowest property tax in the province.
In British Columbia, the BC Assessment conducts an evaluation of properties all over British Columbia and submits assessed values for each of them yearly. BC Assessment maintains real property assessments in compliance with the Assessment Act which requires that properties be assessed as of July 1 each year. The final property tax amount is calculated by multiplying the municipal final property tax rate for the year by the BC Assessment value. Vancouver has the lowest property tax in Canada as a percentage of assessed value because while property values are extremely high, the city's budget has stayed relatively constant.
In Alberta, property taxes have existed since the 1800s; up until 1995, all properties and land except for farmland including industrial and residential properties were assessed at market value but the adoption of the Municipal Government Act in 1995 brought along many changes to property assessments. Properties in Alberta are assessed currently every year by municipalities according to guidelines by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and the Alberta Assessment and Property Tax Policy Unit. Property taxes in Alberta are primarily made up of two components: a municipal tax and a provincial education tax. The specific property tax rate for a certain year depends on the budget of the municipality and its total assessment base, and Education property tax rates are also set by municipalities.
In Saskatchewan, properties are assessed by the assessment service provider of the municipality which is usually the Saskatchewan Assessment Management Agency (SAMA). A taxable rate established by the province will be applied to the full value which determines the taxable assessment. For the municipal portion of the tax, the municipal mill rate (1 mill = 0.001) will be multiplied by the total taxable assessment then multiplied by the mill rate factor for determining the amount. There is a set education mill rate established by the province for all municipalities, and no mill rate factor is applied to it. The combination of municipal and education tax portions along with any base taxes or other special taxes determines the full amount of the tax.
In Manitoba, property value assessments are conducted by the provincial assessment services delivered through 10 district offices with the exception of Winnipeg, which has their assessment conducted by the City of Winnipeg only. Each class of property will have a different sized portion of their assessed value that is taxable. The property tax in Manitoba is made out of four parts: a municipal rate, a provincial Education rate, a School Division rate, and additional taxes for local services as needed. Every year, the education tax is set by the provincial Minister of Education while the rest is set by the City Council; the rates are expressed in mills.
Land Transfer Tax
Land transfer tax is a provincial tax levied when purchasing a home or land in Canada. All provinces have a land transfer tax, except Alberta and Saskatchewan. In most provinces, the tax is calculated as a percentage of the purchase price. In Toronto there is an additional municipal tax.
In British Columbia the property transfer tax is equal to one percent tax on the first $200,000 of the purchase price, two percent on the remaining amount up to $2 million and three percent on the rest. An additional 15% tax that applies only to non-resident foreign home buyers in Greater Vancouver started on August 2, 2016. The definition of foreign buyer includes international students and temporary foreign workers. Anti-avoidance measures include fines of $100,000 for individuals and $200,000 for corporations.
First time home buyers program
The First Time Home Buyers Program is a program by the BC government that offers qualifying first-time homebuyers a reduction or elimination of the property transfer tax. It can be used in conjunction with the B.C. Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership.
The First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit is also available in Ontario, which offers First Time Home Buyers a 750 dollar tax Rebate. In 2017 the Ontario Government also released the Land Transfer Tax Rebate, which allowed for up to 4,000 dollar rebate - ensuring that first time home buyers of homes valued under 368,000 dollars would not pay land transfer tax.
New home exemption
The Newly Built Home Exemption is a program that reduces or eliminates the property transfer tax on new homes. The amount is limited to $13,000 for qualifying individuals who must be either a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident. The property purchased must be located in British Columbia, have a fair market value of $750,000, be smaller than 1.25 acres and be used as a principle residence. It can be used in conjunction with the B.C. Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership.
The land property tax, called "territorial tax" or "contribution", is an annual amount paid quarterly by the property's owner. It is determined as a percentage of the property's "fiscal value", which is calculated by the Internal Revenue Service, based on the property's land and built area, construction materials, age, and use. The fiscal value, which is usually much lower than the market value, may be disputed by the owner. The annual levy varies between 1 and 2% of this value, depending on the property's use (residential, agricultural or commercial). Residential properties valued below US$40K (as of 2013) are not taxed; those above that threshold are taxed only on the amount exceeding US$40K. Revenues go to the municipality administering the property's commune. All municipalities contribute a share of the revenue to a "common municipal fund" that is then redistributed back to municipalities according to a their needs (commune's poverty rate, etc.). Additionally, municipalities charge a quarterly trash collection tax, which is often paid together with the territorial tax (if applicable).
The law imposes a tax on each property. Public buildings are excluded (such as government buildings), as are religious buildings (mosques and churches). Families owning private properties worth up to LE 2 million ($290,000) are exempt. commercial stores with an annual rent value over LE 1,200 are not exempt.
In 1999, France introduced a tax on vacant properties. It reduced the vacancy rate by 13%.
Greece has a Municipal and a Government property tax. The municipal property tax (ΤΑΠ/ΔΤ/ΔΦ) is included in electricity bills and incorporates, among others, charges for street cleaning and lighting. The Government property tax (ENFIA) is a combination of the individual asset's tax based upon floor-area and a progressive real-estate wealth tax per individual which is based on the estimated net-worth of all properties and can reach 2%.
According to HK Inland Revenue Ordinance IRO s5B, all property owners are not subject to this tax unless they received a consideration, like rental income for the year of assessment. The property tax is computed on the net assessable value at the standard rate. The period of assessment is from 1 April to 31 March.
Net assessable value
The formula is:
- Net assessable value = 80% of Assessable value.
- HK property tax payable = Net assessment value X Property tax standard rate
- Assessable value = Rental income + Premium + (Rental bad debt recovered — Irrecoverable rent) – Rates paid by owner.
Property taxes are levied by either state government or local civic bodies. Property tax or 'house tax' is a local tax on buildings, along with appurtenant land. It is imposed on the Possessor (not the custodian of property as per 1978, 44th amendment of the constitution). It resembles the US-type wealth tax and differs from the excise-type UK rate. The tax power is vested in the states and is delegated to local bodies, specifying the valuation method, rate band, and collection procedures. The tax base is the annual rental value (ARV) or area-based rating. Owner-occupied and other properties not producing rent are assessed on cost and then converted into ARV by applying a percentage of cost, usually four percent. Most big-city municipals have tax on vacant lands, and other smaller cities and rural areas don't have any property tax on vacant lands. In most cases, civic bodies have taxes exempted on all the buildings and lands used for religious worship by the public, public burial & cremation grounds, or heritage lands, charitable and educational purposes and on few agricultural land. Other than that, Central government properties are exempt. Instead, a "service charge" is permissible under executive order. Properties of foreign missions also enjoy tax exemption without requiring reciprocity. The tax is usually accompanied by service taxes, e.g., water tax, drainage tax, conservancy (sanitation) tax, lighting tax, all using the same tax base. The rate structure is flat on rural (panchayat) properties, but in the urban (municipal) areas it is mildly progressive with about 80% of assessments falling in the first two brackets.
An exemplary detail of local civic bodies of respective cities.
|serial||cities||Municipal Body||Tax on Vacant Land||Tax Reference|
|1||Mumbai||Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)||yes||https://ptaxportal.mcgm.gov.in|
|2||Delhi||Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD)||yes|
|3||Bangalore||Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP)||yes|
|4||Hyderabad||Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC)||yes|
|5||Ahmedabad||Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)|
|6||Chennai||Greater Chennai Corporation ( GCC)||yes|
|7||Kolkata||Kolkata Municipal Corporation||yes|
|8||Surat||Surat Municipal Corporation||https://www.suratmunicipal.gov.in/Departments/PropertyTaxStructure|
|9||Pune||Pune Municipal Corporation||Only on Carpet Area of Vacant Land/property|
|10||Jaipur||Jaipur Municipal Corporation|
A Local Property Tax came into effect in Republic of Ireland on 1 July 2013, and is collected by the Revenue Commissioners. The tax is on residential properties. The property owner is liable (though in the case of leases over twenty years, the tenant is liable). The revenue funds the provision of services by local authorities. Such services currently include public parks, libraries, open spaces and leisure amenities, planning and development, fire and emergency services, maintenance and street cleaning and lighting.
The tax is based upon market value, taxed via a system of market bands. The initial national central rate of the tax is 0.18% of a property's value up to €1 million. Properties valued over €1 million are assessed 0.25% on the excess. From 1 January 2015, local authorities are able to vary LPT rates -/+ 15% of the national central rate.
In the case of properties valued over €1 million, no banding applies – 0.18% is charged on the first €1 million (€1,800) and 0.25% on the balance. The government estimates that 85% to 90% of all properties fall within the first five taxation bands.
This tax is paid annually and is based on a percentage of the unimproved value of a property.
The tax period for a property tax is a calendar year. Property tax rate ranging from 0.3% to 1% the tax value of real estate is determined by the municipality.
Since January 1, 2015 if the person's property value is higher than 220,000 euros, 0.5 per cent of property tax is applied for exceeding amount.
Property tax in Luxembourg is calculated on the basis of the property's "unitary value" determined by tax authorities and levied by the communes. The tax is calculated as property unitary value * assessment rate * communal rate. The assessment rate is determined by the legislator and generally ranges from 0.7% to 1%. The communal rate is set by the communal authority and varies from 120% to 900% depending on the municipality.
The subjects of the tax on estate are all estates in the legislation of the Czech Republic except from particular exceptions: estates which are covered by taxed real estates (these estates are not taxed only on that part where the real estate is located), forests, body of water, estates with the goal of defence the country. The payer of the tax is the owner on this particular estate. There are different types of taxes on estate depending on its purpose (fields have lower coefficient than estates denoted for industry). There is a difference in the tax on building sites. Building sides with no real estate on it have constant coefficient 2 Kč for 1 metre squared whereas buildings sites with real property (those part of the building sites which are not covered by that particular real property) are taxed according to number of citizens and location of particular village/town/city.
The subjects of the tax on real estate are all buildings and accommodation units in the legislation of the Czech Republic apart from those buildings composed of accommodation units that are already taxed (block of flats,...). The payer is again the owner of the real estate. The tax base from buildings and accommodations units is the area of the built-up surface.
Facts for both taxes:
1) All earnings stemming from property tax (paid by payers of taxes) in particular village/town/city goes via tax office back to that particular village/town/city
2) Every village/town/city has an authorization for adjusting its coefficient on property tax (they are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 - which means how many times the originally assessed tax will be multiplied)
3) Tax year is the calendar year
4) Tax return must be handed by the end of January of the tax year. If payer did it in the previous tax year and circumstances of taxes did not change, then the payer does not have to hand tax return and the tax is assessed automatically by the relevant authority
5) Tax is in two exactly the same repayments by the end of May and November respectively. (As far as normal non businesses are concerned)
Important notion: There is a difference between the person who pays tax physically and the person holds the tax burden. In this type of tax in the Czech Republic it is always the same person, that is why it is omitted.
Property tax (Dutch: Onroerendezaakbelasting (OZB)) is levied on property on a municipal basis. Only the owners of residential property and people who rent/own commercial space are taxed. People who rent a home do not pay property tax. Municipalities combine their property taxes with a tax for garbage collection and for the sewer system. Owners and users of property and land also pay taxes based on the value of property to the water boards for flood protection and water and wastewater treatment ("waterschapsbelasting"). A percentage of the value of a house ("huurwaardeforfait") is added to the income of the owner, so the owner of a house pays more income tax. All property-related taxes are based on the value of the house estimated by the municipality.
In the UK the ownership of residential property or land is not taxed, a situation almost unique in the OECD. Instead, the Council Tax is usually paid by the resident of a property, and only in the case of unoccupied property does the owner become liable to pay it (although owners can often obtain a discount or an exemption for empty properties).
Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) guidelines state:
- "Council Tax is a tax on property. In principle it may be an allowable deduction in those instances where other property-based expenses are deductible."
The Valuation Tribunal Service states that:
- "The tax is a mix of a property tax and a personal tax. Generally, where two or more persons reside in a dwelling the full tax is payable. If one person resides in the dwelling then 75% is payable. An empty dwelling attracts only a 50% charge unless the billing authority has made a determination otherwise."
There have been a lot of property tax changes since the introduction of the 2015/16 budget. Changes to Section 24 mortgage interest relief, removal of the 10% wear & tear allowance, and the maintenance of high rates of Capital Gains Tax (CGT). These changes have resulted in UK landlords paying a lot more tax than previously.
The Council Tax depends on the value of the property, but is not calculated as a simple percentage. Instead, the property is allocated to a Council Tax band, (9 in England and 8 in Scotland and Wales). Valuation is carried out by the Valuation Office Agency under the auspices of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Additionally, when purchasing a property, the UK government levies Stamp Duty Land Tax" (SDLT, commonly known as just 'stamp duty') on homes over the value of £125,000. The Stamp Duty payable is referenced to the price of the house, splitting the levies due into percentages of the value increments of the house. Stamp Duty is eliminated on properties £300,000 or under for first-time buyers, and if the value of the property for a first-time buyer exceeds this, they pay a percentage of the amount that is over the £300,000 maximum value.
In the United States, property tax on real estate is usually levied by the local government. The national government levies no real estate tax, nor property tax. State governments levy 3% of the total property tax collected. The other 97% is collected by counties, municipalities, schools, community colleges, and many other special-purpose governmental agencies, e.g. libraries, museums, parks, bridge authorities. Rates vary across the states, between about 0% and 4% of the home value. The assessment is made up of two components—the improvement or building value and the land or site value. The property tax is the main tax supporting local: education, police, fire protection, government, roads, and most infrastructure, e.g. sewers, bridges, street lights. Many state and local jurisdictions add personal property taxes. (See exceptions below.)
History of property tax
Taxation has existed since the dawn of governments. Originally before the presence of monetary system, taxes were mostly paid as a percentage of crops raised. Later, the property tax of ancient world, parts of medieval Europe and American colonies was rather based on the area of the property rather than on its value. Finally, the property's gross output (e.g. annual income) were used as the base of taxation.
The first ever tax records, dating from about six thousand years B.C., were in the form of soil tablets which were found in city-state of Lagash (Now in the territory of current Iraq). The system was called bala (rotation). It was such that each month one particular area of city was taxed, which allowed to make such arduous task less difficult. In Ancient Egypt the taxes were levied against the value of grain, cattle, oil, beer and also land. By that time only one person out of 100 were literate. Some of these people were tax assessors. They kept records about owners of land along with its size. They collected annual data by calculating cattle and checking the crop yields. If the taxpayer was not able to pay the tax, he was brought before the court. Tax assessors were highly respected people due to their ability and skills.
In England in the 11th century the taxes on land were paid by peasants who rented that land from its owner. The more productive the land was the higher the rent was. During the 1070s, William the Conqueror established an early form of land taxation. It was common that cities kept records of the owner of the property. Each parcel was measured and estimated. Later, after 1215, King John was limited in his power to raise revenue, so from this point taxes could be collected only with permission of his barons. After 1290 normal people started paying this type of tax based on the location of the property (higher for those in cities and lower for rural residents) In 16th century even the King's own land was also taxed. The King's power of taxation became even weaker right after 1689 when the new law was introduced meaning that he could not tax without Parliament's permission.
The Thirteen Colonies
Arriving in the New World, the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth and started building their city in 1620. After threats from locals they built a fort. Pilgrims formed a pact to protect themselves and also set laws including taxation and assessments. All people were allocated equal proportion of land from which they had to pay tax.
In Boston, a property tax was implemented by Puritans for paying the expenses of church and religious education. Every person paid this property tax regardless of one's religion. This particular system lasted for more than one hundred years. The assessor of the tax was the sheriff. The system of evidence was similar to England (the assessors kept records of personal estate). The situation of the citizen was taken into account as far as the property tax was concerned – meaning that a widow with children was not only forgiven property tax but also was guaranteed to receive a certain amount of money monthly. On the other hand, people who destroyed public property had to pay the cost of repairs with property tax.
The United States
After the establishment of the United States in 1776, taxes were raised in most regions (mostly through property). Later, the central Government found out that this system did not work as far more was spent than received from this measure. At the end of the 18th century, there was a dispute between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. The camp of Hamilton was for raising taxes (mainly property tax) centrally in order to increase the capacity of budget (also power) of the Government. The camp of Jefferson was for raising revenue locally as it “sounded“ more like a concept of democracy. Hamilton had a strong head for finance; he helped to establish the capitalist system that exists today. However, the financial strategy mentioned above (high property tax) was a disaster for him. Higher taxes (especially property) was finally established during the concerns whether the war with France would happen or not. National property tax was enacted by Congress apportioned by population. There were many protests until the tax was finally repealed. On the other hand, the trend of raising the local property tax continued as local governments were able to raise their revenue by this measure.
The 20th century
At the beginning of the 20th century it was found out that the tax system in US could not equitably tax the complicated economy. Many reforms were implemented (trying to reduce reliance on property taxes). The most important one was concerned with new narrow personal property tax was established especially for homeowners and intangible assets. Many US presidents have tried to push for lower property tax and for the implementation of income tax. By the time of the Great Depression, the property tax collection rates dropped as people's income decreased steeply. The Governments mostly cut property tax and implemented sales taxes. After the Great Depression, many movements were formed for addressing claims on the Government with real tax reforms. Many of these reforms were approved and remain the current law.
Places without property tax
In Alaska, "...only a small portion of the land mass is subject to a property tax. ...only 24 municipalities in Alaska (either cities or boroughs) levy a property tax." However, the vast majority of revenue for local governments comes from property taxes. There is no tax on the private land in American Samoa, the Territory of Palmyra Island or Kingman Reef in the Pacific Ocean insular areas.
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